Unlike many urban dwellers who need to take a long drive if they want a glimpse of the country’s past—no thanks to development projects who have no regard for preserving our heritage buildings—Ryan Paolo Badillo actually lives in the past.
The Badillo Ancestral House in Looc, Romblon is now more than a hundred years old and is the actual residence of Ryan and his family. The house was built by his great grandparents Francisco Tejada Badillo and Pelagia Panganiban Badillo, and was handed down to Ryan’s lolo and lola, Dr. Marcelino P. Badillo and Gloria Bello Badillo. It has three rooms and one banyo on the top floor, and two rooms and two toilets downstairs. The “silong” and “imbakan ng ani” are undergoing renovation.
Ryan moved here with his family when he was just two years old. He’s called this structure home for almost 30 years now. “Living in an old house isn't spooky at all—it is a gift!” the 31-year old tells ANCX. “You get to know the past while enjoying it in the present. You can count the years but the endless memories will be immeasurable.”
Living in structures like the Badillo house is not unusual in Looc which is known to preserve its very old abodes. In fact, the Badillos’ streetside view is the ancestral home of former Philippine Dental Association president, Renato Sison.
The town’s special occasions are usually when the younger generation get to hear about the history of their homes. “Everytime that the family has a gathering, most likely during fiesta; they would talk about the house and in context they would trace the trail of our relatives,” says Ryan.
Dealing with dust is the topmost challenge of living in the house—but that is mostly because it is located beside the road. The rainy season isn't much a problem, too—"Mas grabeng presko po," Ryan says, describing what it's like in the wet months. "Basta sarado po ng maayos ang capiz windows." But maintaining the roofing and integrity of the wood can be daunting.
However, the house, says Ryan, has been inspected by the National Heritage Commission of the Philippines and is up for accreditation as a heritage house. If there needs to be stuff fixed in the future, the heritage stature “will somehow help the financial aspects of maintenance.”
Images courtesy of Ryan Paolo Badillo